The last 10 years has seen a rapid advancement in technology, for both brands and consumers. But it’s key that brands don’t spend so much of their time focused on technology that they forget why they’re there – the customer. Brands need to remain focused on the fact that customers are, and always will be, at the centre of any successful business.
Consumers are now in a position where they’re able to drive innovation from brands to have their needs met. A key driver for this trend is connectivity; we’re now more connected than ever. 90% of internet users are connected via a mobile phone, and of those, 80% are social network users. We can now access any content, anywhere, at the touch of a button.
As a result, brands are now forced to reassess how they interact with their customers, which has placed a huge pressure on customer service and marketing.
We now expect a more personalised service, in a shorter timeframe, and are not afraid to use the power of social media to voice our opinions when we feel we’ve been short-changed by an experience with a brand.
Uber’s drive to succeed
There are plenty of examples where businesses and entire sectors have fallen short on innovation and have therefore left an open door for competitors’ technology to sweep in and steal their ever-demanding customers, but who is responsible for that situation? The innovators, the consumers or the Blockbusters of the world?
10 years ago, Uber was in its infancy with just an idea and one employee. 3 years later came their mainstream app and a worldwide launch. As a business, Uber has revolutionised the taxi business as a whole, offering consumers something that they always wanted – taxis on demand, available to order and able to pay via an account or split between passengers. Uber made taxis easy.
Uber is just one example of a brand keeping customer centricity at the heart of its innovation strategy, staying ahead of the curve and not falling short of new entrants.
So what next?
Technology is advancing at such a huge rate of growth that 10 years from now, 2019 will seem like the Stone Age by comparison and it would be easy to fall behind. Customer centricity and technology should sit hand in hand and not in isolation. The question that brands should be asking themselves to deliver on customer demand is: where and how will technology be impacting us in 10 years time?